Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When Could You Start Your Baby on Solids

The practice of giving solids to a baby for the first time since birth differs in different cultures. Although doctors give strict directives to mothers about introducing solids and scoff at home remedies, I can state confidently that it is perfectly safe to give easily digestible solids like finger millet porridge or ragi as it is called in India because my mother gave it to me when I was a tot of only one month and I gave it to my children at that age as well. And the rest is history.

The practice of feeding a one month baby with finger millet porridge is an ancient one, say about 100 yrs old or maybe even more, in the rural villages of India. The women used the knowledge that was handed down to them by their ancestors and applied them to bring their children up into strong and robust young men & women. Almost all the natural remedies for various ailments practiced today come from the villages and are packed with wisdom of the ancient seers.  

Though breast milk is indisputably the best milk for your baby, sometimes it may not be enough to meet the needs of a growing baby. Mothers with less breast milk may have to rely on formulas to meet the baby’s nutritional needs. Although there are many types of formula milk available in the market today, it is in the final analysis, an artificial concoction of milk and not agreeable to all babies.

Finger millet is packed with calcium, iron, copper and magnesium, easily digestible and has high medicinal properties and very gentle on your baby’s digestive system. It is also rich in fiber and antioxidants.

Finger millet or ragi                                        finger millet or ragi porridge                  


You can prepare ragi porridge by mixing 1 cup milk to 1 tbsp of ragi flour very well, until all lumps disappear. Place it on heat, stirring continually. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat completely and keep stirring it for a few more minutes until fully cooked. Cool it and feed your baby. 

To begin with, start giving your baby 2 tsps of ragi porridge, once a day, for 2 weeks. Gradually, increase it to 1 tbsp for the next two weeks and so on. If you find it hard to feed your baby with a spoon, you can dilute the porridge a little bit with boiled and cooled water and pour it into a feeding bottle. Widen the nipple hole a little and feed your baby.Your baby will readily take in the tasty porridge. Ragi porridge digest slowly and easily and your baby will feel full for a few hours at least.